Cooper-shod Land Rover competes with rally legends

Monday 28 February 2011


A Land Rover Defender shod with standard Cooper 4XS tyres has held its own against much more potent rally favourites like Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Evos in a major domestic rally.

Mike Dawn and Jane Clarke, from Windermere, chose the biodiesel-powered 4x4 to compete in a series of national rally events during the 2011 season.

In February’s North West Stages, they completed 24 stages and 75 competitive miles of asphalt routes to finish an admirable 41st out of 105 competitors.

The result, achieved on 255/55R18 4XS tyres, was enough to net them the top spot in the Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club drivers and co-drivers competition at the event.

The rugged 4x4 vehicle sports the familiar bright orange livery of the Windermere-based Kankku off-road driving fleet – all of which run on Cooper tyres and offer unique Lake District driving experiences for individuals and corporate guests.

Clarke said: “Kankku uses the Defender in its off-road activities because it’s got the maximum capability available in tough terrain. It’s good to push boundaries in other ways, though, and rallying gives an opportunity to develop the Land Rover into a hybrid with off-road ability and on-road speed.

“We chose the Cooper 4XS as it’s a road tyre that provides exceptional grip and sure-footedness, especially in wet and slippery conditions. Just like the Cooper Discoverers we use in Kankku’s off-road activity, it gives us exactly the performance we’re looking for.”

The next rally outing for Team Kankku will be the Malcolm Wilson Rally on March 5 which takes place in the Cumbrian Forests of Winlatter, Greystoke and Grizedale. As the event is based on gravel surfaces, the team will switch to the more rugged 205/80R16 Cooper Discoverer S/T rubber.